AFT to Ask Urban School Districts to Fully Reopen

In support of parents’ calls for reopening urban public schools, the head of American Federation of Teachers (AFT) said the union will ask schools to do so. AFT president, Randi Weingarten, said she will deliver a speech on Thursday that will ask schools to resume holding of in-person classes five days a week.

The U.S. News Today was able to obtain a copy of Ms. Weingarten’s prepared remarks, which include an acknowledgment that things have changed.

“We must reopen schools for in-person teaching in the fall to fully and safely provide students with learning and support five days a week.”

The AFT will also ask schools to end hybrid teaching, unless there is a compelling reason to do so. According to U.S News Today, Ms. Weingarten asserts in her speech that requiring educators to simultaneously teach students in classroom and online, is not untenable aside from being educationally disastrous.

Ms. Weingarten’s speech includes an acknowledgement that with the vaccine rollouts, nothing stands in the way of having public schools fully reopen and to stay open starting this fall.

Actually, Republicans are blaming teachers unions, contending that the close alliance between unions and the present administration is largely responsible for the failure of the urban public schools to reopen. The contention is that public schools are allowed to continue to hold remote classes, whilst ignoring the plight of the marginalized and most underserved students who do not have proper access to Internet connection.

The Current State of Urban Public School Systems

Although many city mayors and school district superintendents have made promises of reopening schools five days a week in the fall of this year, a growing number of parents who have the means, have already transferred their children to private schools. One of the concerns is that reopening in the fall could be too late, if such moves continue and reach phenomenal levels.

If that happens, cities will definitely see a segregation of white and colored students. Notwithstanding that they are already separated by feeder patterns and boundaries.